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Admiral Jeff Cook to Offer this Year's Memorial Day Address

Admiral Cook is a 1964 graduate of Medfield High School. He earned his Navy Wings in 1970 after which he flew F4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcats completing over 500 aircraft carrier landings.

The following information was provided by Medfield's Veterans' Services Officer Ron Griffin.

Today, May 27, Medfield citizens will join together to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.  The parade will start at 9:45 a.m. behind the Medfield Town House on Janes Ave, marching directly to Baxter Park where a brief ceremony will be conducted beginning at 10 a.m.  

American Legion Post 110 invites all active duty service personnel (please wear your uniform), all Reservists and National Guard members (please also wear your uniform) and all veterans to join their members as they march up to Baxter Park.  If your uniform still fits, please wear it, otherwise it is suggested veterans wear some kind of Veterans hat, a light colored shirt and dark colored pants.   

The parade will include:

  • American Legion Post 110 Legion Color Guard
  • American Legion Honor Guard
  • American Legion members joined by any area service personnel or veterans
  • American Legion Float featuring non-marching veterans
  • Clergy and Speaker
  • Selectmen
  • American Legion Auxiliary
  • Sons of the Legion
  • Medfield High School Band (under the direction of Doug Olsen)
  • Medfield Police Department
  • Medfield Fire Department
  • Medfield Girl Scouts
  • Medfield Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America
  • Lions Club

Along the way, the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary will be offering American Flags to children.  They also will offer Poppies in exchange for a donation that will be used toward supporting area veterans. 

Following the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Medfield High Student Bethany Komine, Reverend Leroy Owens of St. Edward the Confessor will offer an Invocation.  Retired Medfield Police Chief William Mann will once again officiate this year’s ceremony.  Blake Middle School seventh grade student Will Spaeth will recite the Gettysburg Address after which Rob Gregg will offer a musical reflection on the bagpipes. 

Admiral Jeff Cook (Ret) will deliver this year’s Memorial Day Address. 

Admiral Cook is a graduate of Medfield High School class of 1964.  He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and received his Masters degree from North Carolina State in 1969.  He earned his Navy Wings in 1970 after which he flew F4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcats completing over 500 aircraft carrier landings. 

In 1979, Cook transitioned to Aeronautical Engineering where he was instrumental in the development of the F18 Hornet and F-35 Lightning aircraft.  He was promoted to Admiral in 1997 where he served as the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs and the Assistant Commander for the Naval Air Systems Command.  After nearly 38 years of service, he retired from the Navy in 2002.

Besides keeping cadence and offering marching songs during the parade route the Medfield High School band under the direction of Doug Olsen will offer a patriotic selection. 

Following the placing of wreaths by American Legion Commander Robert Tannler and Past Commander Al Manganello, the American Legion honor guard will offer a three-volley salute.  Medfield High School students Cam Small, Dan Rull and Alex Rosenfield will offer taps following the three–volley salutes at the various parade stops.

The parade will head to Vine Lake Cemetery for a salute to those who died at sea, then stop again at the veterans section of the cemetery honoring all those Missing in Action. 

The parade leaves Vine Lake heading to its final destination at the American Legion Beckwith Post 110 building on Peter Kristof Way.   There one final three-volley salute is offered in honor of all Service Men and Women, followed by the raising of the Flag by Boy Scout Troop 89.  

Parade participants are then invited to retire into the American Legion Post 110 Hall.  There refreshments will be offer as prepared by the Sons of the American Legion.   

Donations to help offset the cost can be made out to the “Town of Medfield” with a designation note for the “Memorial Day Gift Account” and either dropped off at Town Hall or mailed to Evelyn Clarke at Medfield Town Hall, 459 Main Street.  

In case of inclement weather, the entire Memorial Day ceremony will be held inside the American Legion Hall, which is at the intersection of Rt 27 and West St on Peter Kristof Way.

American flags are flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon.  

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